So we went to the Fair yesterday and then my brother and ace wingman the Stinger went to see the Gopher football debut at the Dome. A busy but fruitful day. A few observations:
- Lotsa politicians were out at the Fair yesterday. The family and I arrived around 11:30 and we came in through the south gate after riding the Trinity Lutheran shuttle bus. As we walked up Underwood Street, we came across the Al Franken booth. We noticed a smattering of people around the booth, about the same number as were queued up for the Deep Fried Candy Bars over on Carnes. I took a second look and saw that Al was there, standing among a group of maybe 15-20 people. I thought about going over and doing a Swiftee on him, but decided to be polite and kept walking. I really did want to ask him how Evan Montvel-Cohen is doing these days, though. Somebody besides Swiftee should. Like Pat Kessler, to name one example.
- Later on I happened upon the forlorn SENATOR DEAN BARKLEY booth (that's what it says). Dean was there, but no one was talking to him. Again there was a small nest of people crowding around and I took a second look. And there he was: Jesse Ventura was in the house. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Jesse looked like crap. He looked tired, haggard and disheveled, with long graying hair poking out from underneath a cap at odd angles. When you see Jesse in person, it's pretty clear why he didn't get into the race himself. There's a certain amount of personal hygiene involved in being a Senate candidate and it appeared that Jesse ain't got time to bathe.
- I also saw Priscilla Lord-Faris at her booth (crickets were chirping) and could see Elwyn Tinklenberg standing at the DFL booth, probably urging someone to read a few Bill Prendergast diaries over at Kos. I will say this -- I liked Priscilla's anti-Franken ad that ran on KARE the other night. Norm ought to send her a check after the primary.
- The best political experience by far was stopping by the AM1280 the Patriot booth, though. Mitch Berg and Ed Morrissey were in high spirits and were holding forth in their inimitable style, discussing the current state of the presidential race with Patrick Hynes from the blog Ankle Biting Pundits. I admire both Mitch and Ed greatly and it was a pleasure to finally meet both of them. I also got to meet two other Minnesota bloggers that I hold in very high esteem, Marty Andrade and the Mayor of the MOB, King Banaian. I have all four of these gentlemen on my blogroll for a reason -- they are all outstanding bloggers and well worth your time. And while you're at it, go buy Marty's book.
- As for the Fair itself, it was fun. The kids are getting older now but they still prefer the Kidway to the Midway, but I'm guessing that will change soon. We got most of the usual things we get every year -- the Pickle on a Stick, the enormo tub of French Fries, the bucket o' Sweet Martha cookies, but we also found and sampled the Big Fat Bacon. It's pretty good, but the bacon is so thick that it almost becomes a little ham-like in the middle. Still, for $3 it's a pretty good deal by Fair standards. They are located on Carnes, not far from Sweet Martha and the Deep Fried Candy Bars, making Carnes one of the best streets at the fair for having a portable defibrillator.
- I also got my McCain button at the GOP booth on Carnes, which was really hopping mid-afternoon. Based on what I observed, there were probably an equal number of McCain buttons as Obama buttons being sported by the fairgoers. And there were many more Norm buttons that Franken buttons, probably by a 3-2 ratio. Does that mean anything? Dunno.
- After we left, Stinger and I went to see the Gophers against hated Northern Illinois. The Gophers were enthusiastic and clearly more talented, but it's pretty evident that they have two issues: their pass defense is still abysmal and they appeared to be out-coached. NIU was 2-10 last year and a MAC team with that kind of record should expect to leave the Dome with a 41-14 loss. That the Gophers had to pull out a 31-27 win with last-second heroics is pretty damning. Some of the more pass-happy teams in the Big Ten are going to riddle the Gophers. Juice Williams of Illinois put up about 5 touchdowns against a very good Missouri team last night; I shudder to think what he'll do to our Rodents. I'm thinking 4-8 is about the best we can expect for Brew's Crew.